China's Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters on Friday that the proposal to sell a Chinese missile defense system to Turkey constitutes"normal arms trade cooperation." Hua added that the deal should be viewed "rationally and objectively" and emphasized the importance of not politicizing this type of trade competition.
Last month, Turkey announced that it would begin negotiations with China Precision Machinery Export-Import Corp. (CPMIEC) on co-producing Turkey's long-range missile defense system, a deal worth $3.44 billion. China's FD-2000 competed against Russian firm Rosoboronexport' S-400, the U.S. partnership of Raytheon and Lockheed Martin for the Patriot air defense system and the Italian-French consortium Eurosam's Samp-T. Turkey's decision to work with the U.S. sanctioned Chinese firm CPMIEC on co-producing 12 long-range air defense systems has resulted in concern expressed by NATO, the U.S. State Department Deputy Spokesperson and the U.S. Ambassador to Turkey over the compatibility of the system with those operated by NATO allies.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Erdoğan commented on their decision to begin negotiations with CPMIEC by stating, "The Chinese firm is the only one willing to co-produce the defense system and they submitted the lowest price. They are the most comfortable in terms of third-country sales and the French-Italian consortium cost one billion dollars more. They also were not interested in joint investment and opening up to third-party countries. The U.S. system cost 200 million dollars over their price, while the Russian system was an additional four billion dollars higher."
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